With the three best first baseman going in the first round of fantasy baseball drafts in 2013, you either reach for a great one, settle for a good one, or wait for a sleeper. For those who choose to do the latter of those three, don’t forget about Freddie Freeman.
Eye problems cost Freeman some time last year, but in the 147 games he played, the 23-year old managed 23 home runs and 94 RBIs to go along with a .259 batting average and a solid 91 runs scored. It was actually a breakout season for the young Atlanta Braves power hitter in 2012, but no one seems to be buzzing about him in 2013.
Take advantage of that.
If you pass up on the top guys in this year’s thinner-than-usual first base position, don’t pass up on Freeman. The Braves new additions in Justin Upton and B.J. Upton have made them a World Series hopeful and an offensive force to be reckoned with. Freeman will only flourish because of that.
He was a .300 hitter in the minors, but Freeman has focused on becoming more of a power hitter in the big leagues, which has been a detriment to his average. He did hit .282 in 2011, so his average will likely settle in around the .270 mark in my opinion.
He’s a good bet for 25 home runs, maybe 30, and if he can mesh with the rest of that loaded lineup in Atlanta, the 100 RBI mark could come and go. He scored a rather high 91 runs in only 147 games played last year, so seeing him reach the century mark in runs scored is plausible if he can stay healthy this year, and getting those kind of runs from a first baseman is always a plus.
Overall, given the lack of depth this year at first base and Freeman’s 12th overall ranking at the position, I feel it might be safe to say that Freeman is the last sure-thing on the draft board for first base, short of Ryan Howard and possibly Anthony Rizzo.
The 23-year old has been solid in his two full seasons in the majors, and the team around him is better than ever. If he can build on his breakout 2012, we could see an offensive explosion from Freeman.
He’s going at the tail end of the eighth round in most leagues. Take him in the seventh. Don’t miss out.
2013 Projections: .275 average, 27 HR, 97 RBI, 103 RS, 3 SB